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A lot of people talk to me because they have problems with their relationships and they need advice. Some of the usual questions they ask are, how to forgive a person, how to move on from their relationship, and how to be mature in a relationship. However, there is a scarcity of discussions on the psychological perspective on how to be mature in a relationship.
Maturity in a relationship
Maturity in a relationship is defined by many things. First, it is the ability to base a decision about a love relationship on the big picture. Second, it means the ability to enjoy the instant gratification that comes with the romance of the moment while knowing the best is yet to be and being patient while you watch your love grow. In simple words, mature love partners seek new ways to help each other grow.
Another definition of maturity in a relationship is the ability to stick to a certain situation until it is finished. For example, when a person we know seems to constantly change his relationship partners, friends, or a job, we tend to label them as immature because they cannot commit to something or someone that is still on progress or maybe because they want these things and situation to be easy-going and once they encountered obstacles along the way, they immediately quit and jump to another person or situation.
Maturity is knowing that you can’t have everything in your own way and the ability to face obstacles, frustrations, discomforts, and defeats without complaints. It is the ability to love unconditionally and to adjust to certain circumstances, people, and time when necessary.
Another definition of maturity in a relationship is allowing your partner to freely pursue their individual interests and friends. Mature love shows trust and encourages partners to celebrate their own uniqueness.
Theories of love and maturity
In psychology, there are several theories that explain love and maturity. Some of these theories are the Sternberg’s Theory of Love and the ‘M-Frame Relationship’ model.
- Sternberg’s Theory of Love. According to Sternberg, there are three components of love: passion, intimacy, and commitment. A relationship may consist of any one of these components, any combination of two, or all three, and relationships that manage to maintain all three usually are longest-lasting and happiest. Intimacy, according to Sternberg, does not refer to sexual intimacy but rather to the emotional closeness two people feel. It includes some factors such as sharing a sense of mutual understanding, wanting what’s best for your partner, giving and receiving emotional support, and being able to share private and personal thoughts and feelings with the partner.
- M-Frame Relationship. This theory suggests that maturity in relationships can also be measured by the amount of dependence on each other. The “M-Frame Relationship” model suggests that a relationship can be called mature because they have a strong sense of connection with each other but also has a strong sense of self-love. It means that they don’t need to be with each other every day and that they don’t need other people to complete them because they are already complete on their own.
Suggestions on how to be more mature in a relationship
- Increase the time spent with yourself. Self-love should always come first in every relationship. Because once a person doesn’t love his/herself, all kinds of negativity and insecurity will sink in and will eventually lead to doubts and jealousy. Maturity in a relationship equals in loving yourself. You need to be full of love that it overflows and shared with other people. Allow yourself to grow into the best version of yourself together with your partner. You don’t need to start big – you can start by small steps like taking good care of your health and heart by exercising together and staying away from negativities like stress and burnout.
- Celebrate each other’s uniqueness. Celebrating each other’s uniqueness means giving each other freedom to pursue personal interests. Allow your partner to pursue their personal interests and goals, to be with their friends without restriction. Trust should always be present and should always be the foundation of the relationship. Remind yourself that the world doesn’t orbit for just the two of you and that each of you have dreams and goals that can be fulfilled by supporting each other.
- Commit and love unconditionally. Choose to love your partner in every situation and in every decision you make. You will know you’re mature and that you truly love the person when you still choose to love and be with them every day, in spite of all their flaws, imperfections, and negative situations. Maturity doesn’t just equal in loving yourself but also in loving that person for who they are. Choose to work on creating and maintaining a loving, mutually satisfying, and lasting relationship by staying through the bad times and loving your partner unconditionally.
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